Common Rules for the Game of Basketball

Traveling

Art. 1. Traveling occurs when a player holding the ball moves a foot or both feet in any direction in excess of prescribed limits described in this rule.
Art. 2. A player who catches the ball with both feet on the playing court may pivot, using either foot. When one foot is lifted, the other is the pivot foot.
Art. 3. A player who catches the ball while moving or dribbling may stop and establish a pivot foot as follows:

  1. When both feet are off the playing court and the player lands:
    1. Simultaneously on both feet, either may be the pivot foot;
    2. On one foot followed by the other, the first foot to touch shall be the pivot foot;
    3. On one foot, the player may jump off that foot and simultaneously land on both; neither foot can be the pivot foot.
  2. When one foot is on the playing court:
    1. That foot shall be the pivot foot when the other foot touches in a step;
    2. The player may jump off that foot and simultaneously land on both; 
    3. Neither foot can then be the pivot foot.
Art. 4. After coming to a stop and establishing the pivot foot:

  1. The pivot foot may be lifted, but not returned to the playing court, before the ball is released on a pass or try for goal;
  2. The pivot foot shall not be lifted before the ball is released to start a dribble.
Art. 5. After coming to a stop when neither foot can be the pivot foot:

  1. One or both feet may be lifted, but may not be returned to the playing court, before the ball is released on a pass or try for goal; 
  2. Neither foot shall be lifted, before the ball is released, to start a dribble.
Art. 6. It is traveling when a player falls to the playing court while holding the ball without maintaining a pivot foot.

Back Court/Front Court

Art. 1. A team's back court consists of the rest of the playing court, including its opponent's basket and inbounds part of the backboard and the division line, excluding the mathematical edge nearest the team's basket. 
Art. 2. A team's front court shall consist of that part of the playing court between its end line and the nearer edge of the division line, including its basket and the inbounds part of its backboard.
Art. 3. A live ball is in the front court or back court of the team in control as follows:

  1. A ball that is in contact with a player or with the playing court shall be in the back court when either the ball or the player (either player when the ball is touching more than one) is touching the back court. It shall be in the front court when neither the ball nor the player is touching the back court.
  2. A ball that is not in contact with a player or the playing court retains the same status as when it was last in contact with a player or the playing court.
  3. During a dribble from back court to front court, the ball shall be in the front court when both feet of the dribbler and the ball touch the playing court entirely in the front court.
Art. 4. A pass in the front court that is deflected by a defensive player so that the ball goes into the back court may be recovered by either team.
Art. 5. Regardless of where the throw-in spot is located, the throw-in team may cause the ball to go into the back court.
Art. 6. After the throw-in ends, an inbounds player in the front court, who is not in control of the ball, may cause the ball to go into the back court.
Art. 7. A defensive player shall be permitted to secure control of the ball while both feet are off the playing court and land with one or both feet in the back court. It makes no difference if the first foot down was in the front court or back court.
Art. 8. After a jump ball or during a throw-in, the player in his/her front court, who makes the initial touch on the ball while both feet are off the playing court, may be the first to secure control of the ball and land with one or both feet in the back court. It makes no difference if the first foot down was in the front court or back court.

Closely Guarded

Art. 1. A player in control in the front court only while holding or dribbling the ball is closely guarded when his opponent is in a guarding stance at a distance not exceeding 6 feet. This distance shall be measured from the forward foot or feet of the defender to the forward foot or feet of the opponent.
Art. 3. After the start of a five-second closely guarded count, in order for a closely guarded violation to occur, there shall be continuous guarding by the same opponent.
Art. 4. When a player is positioned between the player in control of the ball and his or her opponent, who is within 6 feet, a closely guarded situation does not exist. 

Designated Spot

Art. 1. The designated throw-in spot shall be 3-feet wide with no depth limitation.
Art. 2. The designated spot is the location at which a thrower-in is presented disposal of the ball out of bounds.
Art. 3. The thrower-in must keep one foot on or over the designated spot until the ball is released (except on a made basket, in which case the thrower-in may move  freely along the baseline). Pivot foot restrictions and the traveling rule are not in effect for a throw-in.

Kicking the Ball

Art. 1. Kicking the ball is striking it intentionally with any part of the leg or the foot.
Art. 2. Accidentally striking the ball with the foot or leg shall not be a violation.

Three-Second Rule

Art. 1. A player shall not be permitted to have any part of his or her body in the three-second lane for more than three consecutive seconds while the ball is in control of his or her team in the front court.

  1. A team in control of the ball for a throw-in adjacent to a front-court boundary line may not be called for a three-second violation.
Art. 2. Allowance shall be made for a player who, having been in the three-second lane for less than three seconds, dribbles or moves immediately to try for a field goal.

  1. The player shall not pass the ball instead of trying for goal. 
Rules to Know (13 of 25)

The sides, top and bottom of a rectangular backboard are IN BOUNDS.